Agartala, December 24, 2022: Following the Election Commission of India’s directives, a total of 3,328 polling stations in Tripura have been identified on ground floor with ramp facilities for persons with disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens aging above 80 years.
So far, out of 3,328 polling stations, 3,124 polling stations have ramp facilities while work has been taken up to complete the construction of ramps in rest 204 polling stations, a press communique issued by Chief Electoral Officer of Tripura on Saturday.
The statement informed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued specific directions on accessibility initiatives to be undertaken by the Chief Electoral Officer for the persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens in view of the upcoming General Election to the Legislative Assembly of Tripura.
CEO office informed all the eligible PwD voters will be enrolled and mapped. The marking of benchmark Pwd voters above 40% has been started. The new PwD voters who have applied for enrolment were heard at their home only. Officials from the Office of the ERO (SDM) have visited their houses to conduct the hearing to avoid coming all the way to the hearing places. Free pick up and drop transportation facilities will be provided to all the eligible PwDs and Senior Citizens. The eligible voters will be provided with a registration facility on web portal / PwD App or helpline in order to avail these facilities. There will be provision of voting through a Postal Ballot for PwD and senior citizens. Application in Form 12-D will be collected by election machineries from their home.
The facilities will be provided at all the polling stations for facilitation of PwD and Senior Citizens include- all 3,328 polling stations in Tripura have been identified on ground floor, arrangements for separate queue for PwD voters will be ensured at every polling station, there will be wheelchairs at every polling station locations, all the District Election Officers, Social Welfare and Social Education Department and Education Department were requested to arrange the required number of wheelchairs, as per direction of the Election Commission of India, the Chief Electoral Officer, and Tripura will appoint Accessibility Observers for all districts, they will be visiting minimum 10 Polling Booths covering at least three assembly constituencies of each district to ensure that all requisite facilities are available.
Wider publicity of SAKSHAM ECI app will be made for increasing the usage of App for PwD voters. CEO website will be accessibility compliant for easy access. Sensitization of polling personnel regarding accessibility requirements specified by the Commission will be done. Polling officials will be briefed to interact with voters with disabilities and senior citizens with due sensitivity.
The PwD icons of the districts and state will come forward to motivate and inspire voters with disabilities to take part in the electoral process as voters. Meetings with CSOs/ NGOs will also be planned, the statement also reads.